Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 06-14-2007, 12:47 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Arizona
Posts: 12,248
Greensleeves/What Child is This?

Okay, give your opinion on this. I know this could go in IMHO too but it's basically about a song tune so here it is. If a mod thinks it should be moved, I have no problem.

But my roomate and I are arguing over this tune. He was singing it and I said "Singing Christmas songs this early?" He then went on to say that it may be a Christmas song but it originally was a song tune called Greensleeves that was completely unrelated to Christmas.

I looked this up then, not realizing it, and found he was right. So I said to him that, "Yeah, you're right, but I think most, if you sang that tune around them, would probably identify it as the popular Christmas song "What Child is This". He disagreed and said that since he had never heard the Christmas version that he thinks more would identify it as Greensleeves.



Well, obviously there's not really any way to find out which is right but I thought, at the very least, I'd make a topic and ask you all what you think. Do you think that more people would know that as "What Child is This?" or would know that as the original tune "Greensleeves"?


Here is the tune of the song by the way.

Last edited by Idle Thoughts; 06-14-2007 at 12:50 AM.
#2
Old 06-14-2007, 12:54 AM
BANNED
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 58,797
I learned it as "Greensleeves," and have always thought of "What Child is This" as kind of a separate song -- a knock-off that pinches the melody.

It was "Greensleeves" first and I don't think of it as a Christmas song at all.
#3
Old 06-14-2007, 12:59 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Arizona
Posts: 12,248
So you think that most others, like you, would see and think of it and identfy it as "Greensleeves" then if they randomly heard that song at any given time?

Last edited by Idle Thoughts; 06-14-2007 at 01:00 AM.
#4
Old 06-14-2007, 01:02 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 3,892
I think it would depend on context. I would generally think of the tune as "Greensleeves", but if I heard it near Christmas, I would assume "What Child is This".

(There's also the matter of whether it's played/sung correctly; it rarely is. It's wrong on the linked page. It should be Dorian, not minor; the fifth note (sixth scale degree) should be a half step higher.)
#5
Old 06-14-2007, 01:04 AM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 10,519
I've never heard of What Child Is This, but I would definitely recognize Greensleeves, and didn't realize there even was a Christmas connection.
#6
Old 06-14-2007, 01:14 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: MO
Posts: 798
I learned it first as What Child Is This so that is how it is forever categorized in my brain.
#7
Old 06-14-2007, 01:15 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 19,268
It's Greensleeves.

-FrL-
#8
Old 06-14-2007, 01:23 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 11,386
I'd think of Greensleeves (notorious around here as the music used by the ice-cream van) before the Christmas carol.
#9
Old 06-14-2007, 01:26 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: St. Obamasburg
Posts: 1,352
What Child is This. I was probably 20 before I heard about the Greensleeves thing. (I'm Catholic, if that makes a difference, it was very popular at the cathedral for midnight mass on Christmas).
__________________
So I saw that train and I got on it,
with a heart full of hate and a lust for vomit,
and I'm walking on the sunnyside of the street.
#10
Old 06-14-2007, 01:29 AM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Alternate 230
Posts: 14,517
Greensleeves, here.
#11
Old 06-14-2007, 01:48 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York State
Posts: 222
Greensleeves. First heard it when we played it in orchestra in high school, and it was called Greensleeves there. I didn't know there were ever words to that tune until years later.
#12
Old 06-14-2007, 01:50 AM
Guest
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Moscow, RF
Posts: 618
Greensleeves.

And now I'm going to be humming it all day.
#13
Old 06-14-2007, 01:51 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: republic of california
Posts: 5,328
20 years ago, when I was learning to play it on classical guitar, I was told that it was a pagan lament for the waning summer that was co-opted by the early church in it's conquest of Europe. While I'm no where near as invested in that line of thought as I once was, it will always be Greensleeves to me. And I play it anytime of year I want.
__________________
Just another outlying data point on the bell curve of life
#14
Old 06-14-2007, 02:42 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Emerald City, WA, USA
Posts: 9,487
Even though I know it was originally "Alas, my love you ...something something... wrong" I think "What Child is This?" first. Perhaps because I know the words to the Christmas carol and that's the one I learned first. (And I don't think the original rhymes. Songs should rhyme.)

Of course, when I hear it by ren-faire people in the middle of the summer, I know they meant Greensleeves.
#15
Old 06-14-2007, 03:09 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,352
Greensleeves. Even if I heard it round Christmas my reaction would be "oh yeah, it's that carol to the tune of Greensleeves"
#16
Old 06-14-2007, 04:34 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Venial Sin City
Posts: 12,447
I of course think of it as the song played when you (attempt) to use a lute in Betrayal at Krondor.
#17
Old 06-14-2007, 06:32 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1,999
Greensleeves, but I do think of it as a Christmas song nonetheless. So what does that count for? Also, I think the one linked to in the OP is the "What Child Is This" version, and "Greensleeves" is the one fachverwirrt mentioned.
#18
Old 06-14-2007, 06:36 AM
"Superstar"
Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: North Shore of LI
Posts: 18,212
Totally "What Child is This"...

and I'm Jewish! I have an unexplained affinity for Christmas songs and tend to sing them year round. (odd, eh?).
#19
Old 06-14-2007, 06:40 AM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 36,823
Quote:
Originally Posted by fachverwirrt
(There's also the matter of whether it's played/sung correctly; it rarely is. It's wrong on the linked page. It should be Dorian, not minor; the fifth note (sixth scale degree) should be a half step higher.)
(That may be why rather than being able to identify it, I got the impression that it was "almost but not quite" a song I knew)

I've heard of Greensleeves before and may even have heard it, but frankly my own reaction was "sounds familiar." Plus I've been known to sing christmas carols in July so I don't see why the OP is having a topological issue with his underwear.

Last edited by Nava; 06-14-2007 at 06:40 AM.
#20
Old 06-14-2007, 06:41 AM
BANNED
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: England, Britain, UK
Posts: 18,480
Don't know about no pagan laments, I thought "Greensleeves" was one of Henry VIII's more trivial yet enduring accomplishments. Doesn't even ping my Xmasometer.
#21
Old 06-14-2007, 07:00 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Tel Aviv
Posts: 5,877
Greensleeves. Never heard of What Child is This.
#22
Old 06-14-2007, 07:05 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 3,065
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noone Special
Greensleeves. Never heard of What Child is This.
Ditto.
#23
Old 06-14-2007, 07:08 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 21,445
I don't know this carol, and it's "Greensleeves" to me. Apocryphally penned by Henry VIII!
#24
Old 06-14-2007, 07:59 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Fernandina Beach, NE FL
Posts: 1,897
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble
. Apocryphally penned by Henry VIII!
I heard this too.
I grew up Episcopal, but to me the song was always Greensleeves;I learned of What Child Is This later in life.
Upon hearing it, I tend to think What Child Is This around December, and Greensleeves the rest of the year, but even then at its heart, for me, it is Greensleeves.
#25
Old 06-14-2007, 08:09 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: The Empire State
Posts: 6,672
Greensleeves, but I still think of it as one of those "winter" songs you hear around Christmas. Now that I think about it, the first version I knew as a child was the "the old year now away has fled" lyrics, but still with the title "Greensleeves." I'm positive about this because I remember wondering why the song in my Baby's First Christmas Songs book (not the actual title but something along those lines) would be called "Greensleeves" when green sleeves had nothing to do with the words. My mom helpfully offered the (mis)information that is was called "Greensleeves" when it was played as an instrumental.

Was there some sort of mint candy that was called Greensleeves? I think this could also have contributed to my childhood confusion over the whole issue.
#26
Old 06-14-2007, 08:33 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 6,602
If I hear it sung, I'd think of it by the words I heard being sung. If I hear it played, it pops up in my brain as What Child Is This/Greensleeves. Honestly. I always think of the tune as a unit, not as two seperate entities. And I've heard it performed in both Dorian and minor, and I like both.

Last edited by kittenblue; 06-14-2007 at 08:35 AM.
#27
Old 06-14-2007, 08:44 AM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: austin tx usa
Posts: 34,434
I learned it as the theme to "Lassie" long before I knew of either "Greensleeves" or "What Child Is This"!


But to answer the OP in a roundabout way... if it were July and I were in a restaurant or elevator and I heard a Muzak version of "Joy to the World" or "Silent Night," I'd immediately think, "WTF? Christmas songs in July???"

But if I heard a Muzak version of "Greensleeves"/"What Child" in July, it wouldn't register. It wouldn't seem out of place. I'd assume it was "Greensleeves."

But if I heard it in December, I'd assume it was "What Child."

To use an analogy, "God Save the Queen" and "America (My Country Tis of Thee") have the same melody. So, if I heard a marching band playing that tune, how would I identify it? By geography. If I hear it played in the USA (or in an AMerican movie or TV show), I assume it's "America." If I hear it in the UK (or in a British movie or show), I assume it's "God Save the Queen."

Context determines how I Name That Tune.
#28
Old 06-14-2007, 08:53 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Southern Pennsylvania
Posts: 21,599
I knew it first as What Child Is This - but now I associate it with either, depending on the setting.
#29
Old 06-14-2007, 08:57 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 45,042
I first heard this tune at summer camp as "Away With Me." It's from the show "How the West was Won."

Away away come away with me
Where the grass grows wild and the wind blows free.
Away away come away with me
And I'll build you a home in the meadow.
#30
Old 06-14-2007, 09:01 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Back in Tennessee
Posts: 3,351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caprese
...I grew up Episcopal, but to me the song was always Greensleeves;I learned of What Child Is This later in life.
Upon hearing it, I tend to think What Child Is This around December, and Greensleeves the rest of the year, but even then at its heart, for me, it is Greensleeves.
As did I. In fact, when you look for "What Child is This?" in the Episcopal hymnal, you see at the bottom of the page that the tune is called "Greensleeves."

Interestingly, when one says "Greensleeves," my first thought is always the beautiful version of the tune performed by Jeff Beck on his album "Truth." You can listen to a bit of it here.
#31
Old 06-14-2007, 09:07 AM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oslo
Posts: 1,504
Never heard of the christmas version
#32
Old 06-14-2007, 09:09 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Corn country
Posts: 3,417
I've only encountered Greensleves once or twice in my life, and don't really know it. So it would register as What Child is This for me. (One of my favorite carols BTW)
#33
Old 06-14-2007, 09:12 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Yorktown, VA USA
Posts: 3,343
Greensleeves. And, if you're counting, my dad also 'hears' Greensleeves when he hears this tune. He and my mom came over the other night to watch The Tudors and Henry was playing the song. Dad said, "Shit, that little bugger wrote 'Greensleeves'?"
#34
Old 06-14-2007, 09:17 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Obama country
Posts: 14,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noone Special
Greensleeves. Never heard of What Child is This.
Ditto.
#35
Old 06-14-2007, 09:36 AM
The Turtle Moves!
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 48,564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noone Special
Greensleeves. Never heard of What Child is This.
Me, too.
#36
Old 06-14-2007, 09:43 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Location: Location:
Posts: 10,482
Born and raised Roman Caholic. Altar boy. Twelve years of Catholic Schooling, plus four years of a Christian University. Catholic Church was 30 paces from my home, the Rectory was across the street.

Married a Catholic girl who lived 'around the corner'. Two kids, 5 and 7 y/o, both go to Catholic School.

And to me and my wife: What Child is This. Christmas.

And this thread is the first 'Greensleeve' reference I've ever encountered.

Last edited by Philster; 06-14-2007 at 09:44 AM.
#37
Old 06-14-2007, 10:02 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 48
I first knew this song as "Sir Greenbaum's Madrigal" by Alan Sherman. Imagine my surprise when I found out it was Greensleeves/What Child is This....

I've since heard it played from ice cream trucks, and have thought "What a depressing song to play!" To me, it's like playing "Ode to Billy Joe" at a 6-year old's birthday party...
#38
Old 06-14-2007, 10:15 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Houston
Posts: 9,345
My first thought would be "Greensleeves."

Although I love the Christmas Carol, too.
#39
Old 06-14-2007, 10:40 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: SLC, USA
Posts: 4,078
Since I know the words to What Child Is This, and I don't know the words to Greensleeves, the Christmas carol always runs through my head when I hear the tune, although I recognize it by either name.

On a slightly related hijack, when you hear the melody only for a certain tune popular with chidren, do you immediately think of
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • The Alphabet Song
  • Baa, Baa Black Sheep

Or did you even realize that they were all the same tune?
#40
Old 06-14-2007, 10:45 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sweet Home Chicago
Posts: 33,496
I think of it (complete with punctuation) as:

Greensleeves (What Child is This)

because that's how it was listed in the songbook for my Magical Musical Thing as a kid. I had no idea that it was a Christmas Carol until just now.

Did you know that 90% of songs printed in books will fit to the tune of Greensleeves? Try it! You might have to Alanis a few of the words to fit, but it makes those boring "poems" a lot more interesting when you read them aloud to your kids:

Song of Nimrodel (by JRR Tolkien)

An Elven-maid there was of old,
A shining star by day:
Her mantle white was hemmed with gold,
Her shoes of silver-grey.

A star was bound upon her brows,
A light was on her hair
As sun upon the golden boughs
In Lórien the fair.
#41
Old 06-14-2007, 10:48 AM
BANNED
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 58,797
"Greensleeves" was the song played during my wedding processional. Now it's a wedding song for me.
#42
Old 06-14-2007, 10:52 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,801
I've never heard "What Child is This?" but I'm very familiar with Greensleeves.
#43
Old 06-14-2007, 10:54 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 24,927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic
"Greensleeves" was the song played during my wedding processional. Now it's a wedding song for me.
With the lyrics of Greensleeves being what they are, aren't you tempting fate playing it as a wedding processional?
#44
Old 06-14-2007, 10:59 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Citizen of the World
Posts: 4,989
I first knew it as the Christmas carol, but now think of it as Greensleeves but have a hard time divesting it of Xmas connotations (but for some reason in my head I hear the two performed in different keys or something (maybe as Fachverwirrt described?). Now when I hear either, though, I am just reminded of how much I sort of like 15th c chanson but detest 16th c madrigal. Perhaps it's because of Renaissance fair-types and Robin Hood movies?

Pagan holdover? It's so obviously 16th century. . . wonder where that idea came from?

Isn't the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star et al W.A. Mozart from the Well-tempered Clavier, or am I misremembering something?

Last edited by capybara; 06-14-2007 at 10:59 AM.
#45
Old 06-14-2007, 11:18 AM
BANNED
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 58,797
Quote:
Originally Posted by capybara

Isn't the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star et al W.A. Mozart from the Well-tempered Clavier, or am I misremembering something?
It's from Hayden's Surprise Symphony (The same tune is also used for "Bah Bah Black Sheep and the Alphabet song).

The Well-Tempered Clavier is Bach, not Mozart.

Last edited by Diogenes the Cynic; 06-14-2007 at 11:19 AM.
#46
Old 06-14-2007, 11:45 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 3,892
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic
It's from Hayden's Surprise Symphony (The same tune is also used for "Bah Bah Black Sheep and the Alphabet song).

The Well-Tempered Clavier is Bach, not Mozart.
The original tune is a French melody called "Ah ! vous dirai-je, Maman". Mozart wrote variations on it. Haydn may have had it in mind when he wrote the Surprise Symphony (and it may be quoted in there somewhere; I'm not that familiar with the piece), but neither he nor Mozart actually wrote the melody.
#47
Old 06-14-2007, 11:47 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 8,007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noone Special
Greensleeves. Never heard of What Child is This.
Likewise.
#48
Old 06-14-2007, 12:01 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 198
In answer to th OP always Greensleeves. It has been my favorite tune since a music teacher played in grade school. For some strange reason the song resonates with me, from the first time I heard it. I often listen to it and my DW thinks I am an ass for listening to Christmas music out of season.

We were taught it was an old English song about a women left behind as her lover went to war. The green sleeve was a scarf worn around the arm as a token from her man. The Wikpedia has a different story. Wikpedia did mention Neil Young played the song. Anyone know which album?
thanks
BZ
#49
Old 06-14-2007, 12:03 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Stockton
Posts: 10,020
Originally learned "What Child is This", but leaning more towards "Greensleeves" the longer I play with the SCA. I've heard other lyrics put to the tune, including "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do." (The reverse sounds cooler.)

I've never heard of a pagan connection. Instead, I heard that according to medieval color symbology, wearing green in art was a sign of fickleness. I'm ready to be corrected on that, though.
#50
Old 06-14-2007, 12:07 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 1999
Location:
Posts: 10,786
Greensleeves

But I don' t know the words to Greensleeves so if I'm singing it, it's What Child Is This.

And I did NOT know Twinkle Twinkle and the Alphabet Song were the same tune. Ignorance fought!
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:25 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: ingrown hair pustule mr turnkey lyrics cheque check roberta pedon hardcore phobia and philia beatles biographer monkey's ass ssd sound white truffle flavor 6 lane highways geena davis smile streusel vs strudel lump band sun bleaching clothes ungrounded gfci outlet hairy woman sex zipless fucks zija scam bitten tongue rabbit taste mrs naugatuck horrible flu uncirculated penny overly specific uncle ben history human skinning chloroform someone uplift trilogy tacky yard art dating show questions loperamide iv cost to drywall a ceiling why do vaccines hurt eye dilation drops side effects frances conroy glass eye how to install aa batteries works on contingency no money down fleetwood mac rumors cover how much does horse sperm cost what does maru mean in english breaking bad is boring how to drive a tractor trailer how many horsepower is a horse african american rock bands best way to secure a motorcycle barnes and noble buy back kate mulgrew katharine hepburn can someone steal money with your bank account number pain in heel when bending over d&d 3.5 tricks why do detectives wear suits how do you pronounce fuchs traci lords nude penthouse how many mpg does an 18 wheeler get cloudy vision in morning does burger king really flame grill their burgers penn and teller bullshit circumcision how to make am antenna what is the smallest marine mammal how to enter and exit a kayak google audio to text trahn jimmy ng death songs for 21st birthday is a frosty dairy free black and decker insect repeller